Sell Wine

Sell Wine: How to Sell Vintage Wine
Through a Reputable Auction House


To sell wine for the largest return possible, it’s always best to partner with a reputable, experienced wine auction house.

cropped Banner idea 4 150x150 Sell Wine

The trouble is: how do you know which auction house to choose?


Collectors like yourself have stored their vintage bottles carefully for a very long time – sometimes decades. In most cases, they are extremely valuable assets.

It would be a very regrettable mistake if you selected the wrong auction house – or tried to sell wine yourself on public sites like eBay or Craigslist.

Why collectors must be careful:

  • Your wine could be appraised incorrectly for $1,000s less than what it’s worth.
  • You could be significantly overcharged in fees if you sell wine through an untrustworthy auction house.
  • Without access to the right buyers, you could have to wait years for your wine to sell.
  • Improper storage at inexperienced auction houses could ruin your wine – while the companies still charge you to hold your inventory.
  • If you sell wine through a questionable website, you could be ripped off completely.


Don’t fall into any of these situations. By partnering with a respected auction house that knows how to sell wine to the right buyers, you’ll be able to get the absolute best price for your lot.


In 2011, a vintage lot of 14 bottles of Chateau Haut-Brion 1945 sold for $153,984 at auction.
Source: Bloomberg


What to Look for in Auction Houses that Sell Wine


Not all wine auction houses that sell wine are the same. In fact, quite the contrary.



Before shipping any bottles, you must do your research and look into the background and credentials of the auction house.


Most important considerations:


Experience & Knowledge of How to Sell Wine
Have they sold wine before? What kind? For how much? These are the types of questions you must ask before consigning. Make sure the auction house has significant, verifiable experience and a clear knowledge of the industry.


WineGavel, for example, has conducted over 100 live and online auctions, offering the world’s greatest wines – Lafite, Latour, Mouton and dozens more – on a global platform.


Access to Buyers
Fewer buyers equals lower bids. It’s that simple. Look for an auction house that has access to thousands of buyers and the ability to sell wine quickly while fetching the highest prices possible.


Marketing Outlets
No auction can effectively sell wine if it doesn’t do any marketing. Make sure to partner with a company that has multiple sales channels to reach more buyers.


In addition to its online auctions and live auctions, WineGavel promotes its sellers’ wines via catalog and directly to its database of thousands of wine collectors worldwide.


Proper Storage
Do you know what’s happening to your wine after you ship it? Make sure the auction house has the means to protect your assets with a secure, climate-controlled facility, so you don’t have to worry about your lot being damaged before it’s sold.


Also, beware of auction houses that try to profit on shipping fees and by charging you additional fees to store your wine. WineGavel will never charge you stocking or inventory fees when you sell wine through their auction house.


Commission Rate
As a collector, you deserve the bulk of the compensation when you sell your wine. Don’t let an auction house take away the earnings you deserve by slapping you with a huge auction fee. Do your research and make sure the agreement is fair.


If your auction house wants to take half the earnings from your sale, you should be very concerned. Consider going through WineGavel, which often has much lower commission rates than its competitors.


Not sure how to sell wine? 5 Simple Steps


Don’t worry. As long as you take your time and choose an auction house carefully, it’s actually quite simple to sell wine.


Here’s a quick look at what you can expect when dealing with an experienced auction house like Wine Gavel.


Step 1) Appraisal.
You simply send a list of your wine collection by email, fax or mail. WineGavel then sends you an appraisal with high and low estimates, and with a clear consignment agreement.


Step 2) Shipping.
WineGavel will make all shipping arrangements to transport your wine carefully to its secure, climate-controlled warehouse in Napa, California.


Step 3) Inspection.
Every bottle is inspected individually by Wine Gavel specialists to prepare it for auction.


Step 4) Sale.
WineGavel will promote your wine to thousands of buyers, selling through its live auctions or through its ongoing online auctions.


Step 5) Payment.
Once your wine is sold, you’ll get a prompt payment from WineGavel.


If you’re ready to sell wine, WineGavel wants to hear from you.


WineGavel is actively seeking fine and rare wines for its live and web-based auctions. If you have a well-stored collection that you want to sell – or if you simply want to learn the value of your wines – WineGavel is happy to help.


Learn more. Call 1.800.774.2130 to get more information on how to sell wine.

Appraisal and Consignment Agreement

The first step is to send us a list of the wines you are considering to sell with details on storage conditions and provenance to Then, we draw an appraisal detailing the Reserve (minimum bid), Low Estimate, and High Estimate for each bottle. This pricing is based on current market pricing for your wines. Once you have approved the appraisal, we will begin making logistical arrangements for your wines. From there we draw up a consignment agreement showing the details of the consignment, including: rights to sell your wines, sales date, shipping costs, payments and fees, etc.

Arrange Shipping

We will use our broad network of transportation vendors to safely and efficiently transport your wine to our secure, climate controlled warehouse in Napa, CA. Unlike some other auction houses who try to make a profit on inbound shipments and/or have endless fees and charges for inbound processing, WineGavel charges only our costs, and we charge no "stocking" or "inventory" fees.


All consignments need to be in our warehouse prior to the auction date so they can be properly inspected, and properly marketed to our buyers. Wine Gavel specialists will inspect every bottle to ensure proper condition, and authenticity and to catalog conditions that will be noted for the information of the buyers.

Sell Your Wines

We will place your wines into one of our multiple sales channels, through our live auction format or into our ongoing online auctions. For the live format, we have locale clientele who attend the auction in person, but we also have the auction be streamed live on our website, where people from the US, Europe, and the Far East can bid in real time as if they were there in person, thus increasing the amount of buyers and the potential for receiving the best price for your lot. For our ongoing, online auction your wine is expedited to our next available auction for speed of sale and continued, maximum exposure to our network of buyers. Remember, regardless of sales strategy we are your partners and advocates to receive the highest price in our auctions so we not only do marketing via our catalog or online auctions, but there is much lead-in marketing done in advance to our buyers database of thousands of wine collectors throughout the world.

Fees and Payment

WineGavel offers a very competitive seller�s commission rate, often much lower than other auction houses. The seller�s commission will vary dependent upon the unique characteristics of each individual consignment. The buyer pays a premium of 19% on their purchase, still lower than most of our peers which help attract even more buyers to our consignors' wines. In terms of payment, WineGavel offer terms that are in line or better than industry standard.

Consign Your Wines to WineGavel

Phone:800.774.2130 Option 1 "Consignments & Appraisals"

Please, enter data

Provide us with a list of wines you are interested in selling. We will get back to you with estimated values. You may either upload a file (such as a spreadsheet or document containing a list of wines), or if you have a shorter list, type the names into the box below. Whether you are uploading a file or typing below, Be sure to include vintage, wine name, bottle size and quantity for each wine.